Getting To Know Dishonored - Dishonored - Xbox 360 -
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Getting To Know Dishonored

Wrapping your brain around a new Halo or Mass Effect is easy enough. Understanding a new franchise like Dishonored is a little harder, and our cryptic cover probably didn’t help much. Read on to get a sense of what this stealth/action adventure from Arkane and Bethesda is about – and to see the first screenshot of the game.

(click the pic to enlarge the screenshot to full resolution)

Who are you?
Players take on the role of Corvo, the Empress’ legendary bodyguard. As the game starts, Corvo is falsely imprisoned for her murder. What the corrupt Lord Regent behind the coup didn’t realize is that Corvo is legendary for a reason. He’s not only a skilled combatant accomplished in the art of not being seen, but Corvo has a suite of supernatural powers that combine with his natural talents and unusual gadgets to make him one of the most lethal men in the known world.

Why should you care?

Even if you haven’t played them, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Thief and Deus Ex. One of the main minds behind those two games, Harvey Smith, is the co-creative director of Dishonored along with Raf Colantonio, the founder of developer Arkane Studios. The two share a vision of a game that gives players the power to be creative with their skills and tactics, and invites them to come up with interesting solutions to the obstacles in front of them. Arkane is known for its immersive first-person gaming (Arx Fatalis, Dark Messiah of Might & Magic), and the power of a talent-driven publisher in Bethesda (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3) behind the team is promising.

How are they going to do that?
Dishonored has several major elements that combine to create its unique gameplay: mobility, powers & gadgets, environment, and AI. The trick is that a single power doesn’t just do damage or heal you. You can combine them organically to create interesting effects. Stop time and knock a bunch of stuff off a table in one direction then book it in another, so the guards search for you in the wrong place. Summon a swarm of rats to attack one guard, but possess one of the rats and escape in the chaos. Every problem has as many solutions as you want it to.

What’s the catch?

It’s an assassination game that reacts to how violent you are. An unusual “chaos” system tracks how much collateral damage you cause, and the game world changes as a result of your actions. Unlike a light/dark side meter, though, it’s a behind-the-scenes element that affects story decisions without punishing the player or pushing them to play one way or another.

When can I learn more?

Soon! You can get ten pages worth of details in the print magazine, and we’ll be dropping new online content, from video interviews to an interactive map of Dishonored’s world, throughout the month. We asked a lot of questions, and Smith and Colantonio had a lot to say. For starters, on Wednesday we’ll share a video that breaks down why you should be interested in the team at Arkane even if you haven’t played any of their previous games.

  • Sounds extremely cool. I like the gameplay examples that were offered.

  • This already seems cool!

  • Since this is the first time i've heard of this game it looks pretty awesome, but lets not hope the hype lets us all down. I like the back story so far. Not to cliche, but original enough. Still looking forward to Deus Ex: Human Revolution coming soon!

  • I am sooooo going to pick up the issue of Game Informer with this. Dang it -- I feel like a tool:) This is exactly what they want me to do! But man, does this game sound exciting. I am so sick of sh*tty, derivative, creatively bankrupt military shooters. Stuff like Dishonored definitely needs our support. I think that Chaos system sounds ambitious as heck; I hope it works well and actually affects the world somewhat dramatically.

    Good luck Arkane. I know The Crossing fell apart and that's a shame because it sounded really cool and ambitious. Dark Messiah was great and this sounds much better.

  • Bethesda has been disappointing lately (Wet, Brink, Rage looks like a Borderlands knock off) But the concept for this game sounds great. I think I'll have some high hopes for this one.
  • The screenshot looks like it has a steampunk sort of setting with swords.

    On another note looking forward to what the 10 page print game informer has to say about the game.

  • hmm, may I play this now? I will do it quietly.
  • Curiouser and curiouser...

  • i am interested

  • I WANNA POSSESS A RAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • sounds interesting might have to keep an eye out

  • The August issue couldn't come soon enough!

  • I need my issue like right now!

  • A new IP is always refreshing.

  • Do I sense a steampunk theme in this game.

  • The first thing I thought of when I saw the screenshot was that someone had decided to port Red Steel 2 to the PlayStation Move.

  • I am severely disappointed with the art style of this game. I know its one picture but this looks like Fable 3 to me. With Bethesda owning idTech 5 you would think EVERY game would be made with it.

  • I hope that is a gameplay picture. Looks sweet. Now I probably have to wait until 2013 before this comes out.

  • sounds like a great game but i cant tell what era we are in? i mean a queen is killed and her top bodyguard is the main guy but it looks like an industrial setting in the pic...who knows cant wait for more info
  • I like how the effort shows to be unique in Dishonored.  The whole "chaos" system is what really grabbed my attention.  Hope that the system turns out great.